We recently launched 90 Second England – our regular video feature containing news and nougats about Labour and England.
In our fourth edition Joe Jervis points out that, by-elections aside, Labour will only be fighting local elections in England this May. Labour can only win a parliamentary majority if it wins in these areas – outside the major cities where people are more likely to identify as English. Given that 44% of Labour’s 2017 manifesto will fall on councils to deliver, it is critical that Labour performs well. An English manifesto, and actually saying England, would help.
Our director John Denham and Labour Coast and Country’s Hywel Lloyd have written about the elections in more detail in an article for LabourList:
One characteristic of people who identify as English is that they are also usually strongly rooted in localities. Depending where you are, this might be a region, a country, a town or a village. Our message cannot be identical in every place. We need to talk about where we are campaigning in the language and images that local voters recognise.
Labour needs recognisable local spokespeople on the media. National voices – often based in London or in Labour’s city heartlands – don’t strike a chord in England’s smaller communities. Every part of non-city England needs to have a local Labour spokesperson.
And in our fifth edition of 90 Second England we note that the Independent Group are yet to even #SayEngland, despite being English MPs concerned about the forces driving Brexit.